Bottle gourd dal (lau dal) step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
This humble Bengali dal is so full of flavours and easy to make. Made with split green gram or moong dal, this dish is absolute comfort food. Bottle gourd is known for its cooling effect and this dish is cooked in every household during summer.
To make this delicious dal, I first dry roast moong dal, wash it well, and boil it with some turmeric powder and salt until it is almost done. At this stage, I add the bottle gourd and let everything cook until completely done. I then prepare tempering with whole spices, ginger, and chilli in ghee. I then pour the cooked dal over the tempering, adjust the seasoning and consistency, and simmer for a few more minutes. I then finish it with some coriander leaves.
Bottle gourd benefits and how to choose it
Bottle gourd (also known as long melon/doodhi/lauki/sorekayi) is a vegetable that is used in a variety of Indian cooking. We grown bottle gourd in our veggie patch during summer. It has multiple health benefits, including high dietary fiber, rich in iron, and vitamin B and C. It is regarded as one of the healthiest vegetables in India. Bottle gourd peel can also be used in cooking, which again is considered very healthy.
When choosing bottle gourd, make sure the skin is smooth with no spots or blemishes. The skin of a good bottle gourd will be pale or light green. The seeds of the bottle gourd are edible and are tender if the bottle gourd is tender. As the bottle gourd matures, the seeds become hard and lose their taste.
Ingredients to make lau dal
Bottle gourd: This is the main ingredient in this dish.
Moong dal: I use moong dal (yellow lentils) to make this dish.
Ghee: I always use ghee in making any lentil dish, like dal, sambar, rasam. I highly recommend using ghee and not replacing it with oil.
Spices: The spices I use here are cumin seeds, dry red chilli, bay leaf, cumin powder, and turmeric powder.
Other ingredients: I use ginger and green chilli in the tempering, and coriander leaves and lemon juice once the dal is done. I also add a very small amount of sugar. The sugar will not make this dish sweet but rather balance it really well.
Serve it with hot steaming rice and sides of your choice, this dal is absolutely nutritious and satisfying.
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This dal is:
– absolute comfort food
– very easy to make and uses minimal spices
– ready in no time as moong dal cooks quickly
Step by step instructions
1. Dry roast moong dal until lightly golden taking care not to burn it
2. Wash the dal thoroughly and boil with salt and turmeric
3. Add the bottle gourd and cook everything well
4. Prepare tempering in ghee
5. Add it to the boiled dal and simmer
6. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add coriander leaves
Bottle Gourd Dal (Bengali Lau Dal)
- 1 medium bottle gourd cut into cubes
- 1 cup moong dal
- 2-3 green chilli chopped, or as per taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 dry red chilli
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ inch ginger grated
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- A few coriander leaves
- ½ lemon
- Dry roast the yellow moong dal and wash thoroughly. Boil in a thick bottom pan along with turmeric powder, salt, and water
- When the dal is almost cooked, add the bottle gourd. Simmer until they are completely cooked
- To make the tempering, in a fry pan, heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add bay leaves and dry red chilli and fry for a few seconds
- Add the ginger, green chilli, cumin powder and continue to fry for a minute
- Add it to the boiled dal and mix everything together
- Check seasoning and add sugar. Adjust the consistency by adding water if needed. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes
- Mix well and turn off the heat
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves and serve